Don’t Eat at Chick-Fil-A on August 1

Did I get your attention with that title? Good. Keep reading!

The furor over Chick-Fil-A has grown to epic proportions. Who would have thought the simple matter of a CEO expressing his support for the biblical model of marriage would result in expressions of rage, boycotts, and pronouncements by government officials that Chick-Fil-A is not welcome in their cities.

One graphic floating around the internet captures the irony—and hypocrisy—of the situation:

“So, you stopped eating at Chick-Fil-A because the CEO
of the company thinks that homosexuality is wrong.
Tell me, when are you going to stop buying gasoline because the owners of OPEC put homosexuals to death?”

Still, the bright spot in all this is the groundswell of support for Chick-Fil-A from the Christian community. A Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day has been declared for August 1, 2012. Which brings me to the title of this post.

Don’t Eat at Chick-Fil-A on August 1.

Don’t get me wrong. I do support their stance. But…

Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people will descend on their restaurants in one day. Even with the best of intentions, tempers will flare, food will run out, and customer service may suffer.

Instead…consider eating at Chick-Fil-A on a regular basis. Add it to your weekly fast-food rotation. Use them to cater your next get-together. Extend them your business long after August 1 is a forgotten memory.

If we’re serious about supporting companies who espouse biblical principles, we need to do it on more than one day.

So go ahead…eat at Chick-Fil-A on August 1st if you must. But let that be the first of many, many visits. That’s the way to send a real message.


The Weekly Reader is No More

Sigh. Another one bites the dust.

Every Friday afternoon for most of my early elementary school experience, I received a copy of The Weekly Reader. Long before I read newspapers for updates on current events, the Weekly Reader alerted me to news in age-appropriate language.

In fact, the Weekly Reader was the first “newspaper” for me and millions of other students nationwide.

But like many things from our childhoods, the Weekly Reader is no more. It stopped printing this week.

While I don’t want to live in the past, I mourn the passing of an institution. Did it die on a digital altar, its few pages not dynamic enough to hold the attention of children mesmerized by flashing lights and split-second timing?

Today, even adults are addicted to sound bites and 140-character posts. So how can we expect children to be satisfied with getting their news from a newspaper – albeit a kid-friendly one?

And what does this signify for the newspaper industry? Will these children grow up to seek news offered in those same sound bites and “tweets”? Will they become adults who prefer the pithy quotes of spin doctors instead of reading news accounts in full, digesting the facts, and forming educated opinions?

But it doesn’t stop at the news. The sad truth is that people who want their news in sound bites often become Christians who avoid in-depth Bible study. It’s too hard. It takes too much time. We’d rather hear sound bites from a pastor than dig into God’s Word for ourselves. The worst part is that we miss out on the joy of mining for treasure and discovering gems to apply to our lives – gems that are all the more precious because of the effort we put into their discovery.

The world is continuously changing, and the death of the Weekly Reader is a small event in the grand scheme of things…or is it?

What do you think?


The Good Old Days

We’re good friends with someone from my husband’s days in the Army, more years ago than we’d like to remember. This friend is great about keeping all the guys connected, passing along good news (and sad), and organizing reunions.

The guys often talk about the good old days. The fun they had. The satisfaction of serving their country. The growth experience it was. How it turned them from boys into men.

Funny thing is, at the time, “good” was the last word most of them would have used to describe their experience. Russ, and many of his friends, couldn’t wait to get out – counting the days, hours, and minutes till their honorable discharges.

Makes me wonder about my life today. Will I look back someday and call these days the good old days? Will I forget my trials and focus only on the good times? Or will I be grateful for the difficulties, because they worked to develop me into all God intended for me? The apostle Paul put it this way:

“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us
an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (II Corinthians 4:17).

 I hope I’ll continue to focus on the refining work God is doing in my life. Even now, I’m doing this with experiences from ten, twenty, thirty, forty, or fifty years ago. (Yes, I’m old enough to look back fifty years and remember the good and the bad!)

At various times, life has brought financial difficulties and marital struggles. I’ve experienced health complications and employment issues. I’ve been hurt by broken relationships and betrayals. Yet, I can look back and be grateful, not so much for the problems, but for the maturing and refining results they achieved in my life. They were the good old days…but so are these.

How about you?

Do you have good old days in your past?

Are you living tomorrow’s good old days today?


Take With a Grain of Salt

Don’t believe everything you read or hear. That sounds strange coming from a writer, doesn’t it? But it’s true.

I can remember my mother saying that when she conversed with some people, she would listen, then “take it with a grain of salt.” (Don’t you just love that expression? I couldn’t resist researching its origin – it was used as early as 77 A.D, although back then it referred to unpleasant food being made more palatable.)

Today “take it with a grain of salt” means to be a bit skeptical about the truth of what you hear or read. We don’t have to search very far for examples…

-  A few weeks ago, news accounts were proclaiming the amazing fact that 1,011 temperature records were broken in one week – including 251 new daily high temperature records in one day.

    BUT…with a little research, we learn that the National Climatic Data Center has only been tracking the daily records broken for a little more than a year. Hmmm – that puts a different spin on the broken records, doesn’t it?

-  Or how about this past Tuesday, when a local candidate for Congress was reported as likening Social Security disability to a form of slavery?

   BUT…with a little more research, we discover the actual quote was a comment on the general creation of a “sense of economic dependence, which to me is a form of modern 21st-century slavery.” Now of course, the reference to slavery is political rhetoric, but still, the original report was inaccurate.

- Then there’s the case of NBC airing edited video of a presidential candidate last month. The manipulated video made it appear he was surprised a convenience store was able to use technology to take sandwich orders.

   BUT…the network had cut almost three minutes of the candidate’s commentary regarding the difference between the public and private sectors. The resulting edited version made it look like the candidate was out of touch with “regular” voters. If we view the unedited comments, he was facetiously comparing a tech-savvy small business to government bureaucracy.

A little closer to home, if we examine our own conversations, we can identify times of exaggeration or selective communication of facts.

   BUT…God tells us His standard for our speech is transparency and integrity. For example:

“Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit” (Psalm 34:13).

 “The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justice” Psalm 37:30).

 “For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases” (Proverbs 26:20).

 “To speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people” (Titus 3:2).

 

News outlets may re-arrange the truth to make headlines, but to paraphrase an old commercial, “we answer to a higher authority.” Let’s ensure that people know it by what we say. Then they won’t have to take our words “with a grain of salt.”

 


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